Still can't believe I made it.
My trip started out alright. Left Boise without a problem, had a very short stop in Reno and were back on the tarmac inside 35 minutes. Just needed approval from traffic control in Los Angeles to take off.. (btw, I had no idea the receiving airport also had to approve a plane's take off.) The pilot informed us we were waiting for approval... and then informed us we were still waiting for approval.... then informed us that it appears Air Force One is at LA and flights are being held, hopefully it would not be much longer. Then after about 45 minutes on the runway we were told it was going to be at least another hour before take off. We returned to the gate and deboarded. After about 35 minutes or so the flight crew made an announcement at the gate that we had approval from LA to take off, but only had a 15 minute window to do so... so they rushed everyone back on the plane and we took off. Mind you by now it was 9:35pm pacific time.. which was when we were suppose to be landing in LA.
Landed in LA at 10:33pm... then had to wait 15 minutes for a gate to be available due to all the flight delays.. 10:45...flight to AU was still on schedule to leave at 11:35pm and I still had to deboard, get my luggage from baggage claim, get a taxi to the correct gate, check in, check my luggage, get through security and get on the flight... (yeah right).
Got my luggage, which mind you I had 4 bags totalling about 120 lbs, and somehow navigated them alone from baggage claim to a taxi, and then to the gate and Qantas counter.. the whole time on the phone back and forth with Qantas telling me, "you will not be making the flight, but head to the Qantas counter were they will rebook you." Luckily, there was a gal on my flight from Reno trying to make the same AU flight, whose husband is a Qantas pilot, and was logged into the Qantas system, and he was telling us not to listen, but to RUN.
Get to the counter and the Qantas employee is a little smug, and telling us, the plane is closed.. if only you'd been 15 minutes earlier.... We discuss that Southwest should put us up in a hotel for the night, and then he starts working with my friend to get her rebooked onto a flight tomorrow night. (Oh yeah, did I mention the next flight to AU would not leave for another 24 hours?) Then he turns to me and says, "Okay, lets see what we can do for you. Name Please."
In the meantime Southwest is arranging a hotel for me, and at 11:36pm I texted Ali to let her know I did not make the flight.
I give the Qantas agent my name... he enters it, and then says, "OH! You are already a confirmed passenger on this flight, let me see if we can get you on." I responded with, "what?? on THIS flight?? Tonight?"
The one that's suppose to be closed already?
He calls and I hear him say, "what do you think, Connie? should I send her up?"
So naturally I start yelling in the background, "YES, PLEASE Connie! Say Yes!"
And so Connie says the most beautiful word in the entire English Language. (Leaving me with a little bit of guilt for my friend and another mom with two small children who were not being allowed through.)
Once again navigating 120 pounds of luggage to the TSA luggage security screening... the security check point had just closed... so they send me to another 200 feet down. Got the luggage check made it to the escalator to get up to security screening, and the escalator was closed... Luckily, now I only had about 40 pounds carry on luggage... Back the other way to the other escalator..
Got to security, there was NO line. Amazing.
Half way through the security people asked me if I was Camille and started rushing me through.. At the other side of the metal detector a Qantas employee is waiting and asked me for my passport, then ran to go get me checked in while I collected and put all my carry on baggage back together. Ran to the gate, and was rushed onto the plane... which was completely packed with lots of passengers that did not appear all to happy to be waiting for me. I overheard a Qantas employee mumble something about holding 400 for one.
The passengers chilled when we were delayed another 30 minutes or so before take off, due to the back up at LAX from Air Force One.
((The moral of this story is ALWAYS check in online ahead of time.))
13 hours later (I think our pilot was 'speeding' because the flight is suppose to be 14 hours) we land in Brisbane, AU at 6:30 am local time. My flight to Townsville leaves at 8:30am. And oh, guess what? According to the customs officer, once I finally got TO a customs officer, it is the busiest travel weekend in Australia all year... including Christmas. And it showed.
Luckily, due to my late arrival in LAX my baggage did not make the AU flight so I was called straight over to the Qantas baggage claim desk and given a ticket to verify my baggage had been mishandled, as well as an express ticket so I could use the flight crew security check point... it still took about 1:15 to get through customs. Then another 20 minutes to figure out how to get to the correct gate... so glad I did not have luggage to check. Got to the gate at 8:10, and the flight to Townsville had been delayed till 8:55. PHEW.
Called Ali and let her know I was not in America, but had made it to Brisbane, which she had already figured when she could not reach me.
Flight into the Townsville went without a hitch. (Thank you!!)
Everything is lovely.. Ali is lovely, her girls are lovely, and well, Matt... Matt offered to let me borrow his underwear till my luggage arrives... in about 36 hours... so Matt's lovely too.
I managed to stay awake till about 6:30 pm... I'm trying to figure out how many hours it was from when I woke up to go to work Friday morning.... Um..
Got up Friday at 5:30am, arrived at Boise Airport at 5:30pm. 12 hours
Left LAX at 12:00, which would be 1:00am Boise time. 7.5 hours
Flight to AU - 13 hours.
2.5 hours till flight to Townsville
Then the flight was about 1hour 20 min
Arrived in Townsville about 11:30 am AU time. (I think.) and stayed up till 6:30 pm. 7 hours.
43 hours 20 minutes? Granted I did get some sleep on my Au flight... I'll be optimistic and say 5 hours... off and on.
And so. Now you can see why even though I packed my camera on my carry on so I could get pictures of the trip over, my camera has not made it out of the bag.
But I am here. :) and it is now 5:30 am Monday morning. I promise to take pictures today.
Lots and lots of pictures.
But first, I need a shower.